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Italians Abroad

Italian’s Abroad – Balotelli and Zaza find the back of the net

Photo credit: JOSE JORDAN/AFP/Getty Images

The weekend has come and gone. With it, we have seen some brilliant matches. Serie A was once again on fire with a slew of goals, but we must turn our attention to those abroad.

Remember Zaza? It seems the days of his stuttering penalty from the Euros are over and his confidence has returned.

Back with a bang:  Simone Zaza (Valencia – La Liga)

As we all know, he was benched last weekend, but Zaza has returned to the first team and made a strong case for his continual selection.

Midweek, Zaza scored an incredible nine-minute hat-trick against Malaga for Valencia, which fired the team into third in La Liga. Interestingly, he becomes only the fourth Italian to do so in the Spanish top flight.

Over the weekend, Zaza scored the winner in Valencia’s 2-3 win over Real Sociedad, smashing the ball just inside the 18-yard box to take his tally this season to 5 goals from 6 games.

Zaza has seemingly returned to the player of old from his Sassuoo and Juventus days. Could we see an Italy recall for Zaza?

Consistent: Mario Balotelli (OGC Nice – Ligue 1)

Nice’s Italian forward Mario Balotelli reacts during the French L1 football match between Nice and Angers at Allianz Riviera Stadium in Nice, southeastern France, on September 22, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / VALERY HACHE (Photo credit should read VALERY HACHE/AFP/Getty Images)

After our last Italian’s abroad segment, we received a tweet stating the enigmatic Italian is too inconsistent. Balotelli, in typical fashion, notched Nice’s crucial 2nd goal in a come from behind 2-2 draw with Angers. His goal is his 15th goal in 15 Ligue 1 matches at Allianz Riviera. Nice is now 6th in Ligue 1.

Never doubt Super Mario!

Unlucky: Angelo Ogbonna (West Ham United – English Premier League)

Ogbonna has had an interesting week; he scored in West Ham’s midweek encounter in the League Cup as they won a confidence boosting 3-0 win over former EPL mainstay Botlon (Jay Jay Anyone?)

The ex-Torino and Juventus central defender notched a strong header to open the scoring in that match, but was unable to replicate the same in their match against Spurs.

Spurs won the hotly contested derby and Ogbonna was unable to stop the dangerous Kane. Still, he has been consistent this season and continues to work hard for his side.

Industrious.

Where have they been: Roberto Soriano & Nicola Sansone (Villarreal – La Liga)

Villarreal’s forward from Italy Nicola Sansone celebrates a goal during the Europa League football match Villarreal CF vs FC Astana at La Ceramica stadium in Vila-real on September 14, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / JOSE JORDAN (Photo credit should read JOSE JORDAN/AFP/Getty Images)

Remember these two? Soriano and Sansone had decent first seasons in La Liga last year, however they have struggled for game time this season.

Both made appearances from the bench, with Sansone coming on at 70th mark and Soriano at the 91st-minute respectively. Soriano seemingly had a negative impact in his four-minute cameo, irking the referee with two fouls and receiving a yellow for his troubles.

Here’s hoping they begin to clock more minutes in the future.

Disappointing: Marco Verratti and Thiago Motta (PSG – Ligue 1)

Average performance from these lads who, without Neymar, led Paris Saint-Germain to their first draw of the season, putting an end to their 100% win record this season.

Verratti had one moment of excellence that stood out, as he sent an exquisite pass over the top for Mbappe who’s first touch was not strong and forced a very poor shot from the France star.

Despite the average performance, Verratti’s return will be welcomed by Emery’s men and Italian fans as a whole.

*Didn’t feature: Manolo Gabbiadini (Southampton), Stefano Okaka (Watford), Matteo Darmain (Manchester United), Davide Zappacosta (Chelsea).

@ItalianFD

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